State of the Creator Industry – Bradley Morris from Majik Media and Chris Badgett from LifterLMS

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In this episode of LMScast, we have our guest Bradley Morries from a very popular game and entertainment studio – It is an international gaming and entertainment group that focuses on creating innovative audio stories. In this episode, he will tell us how he pulled off an effective training program along with what helps him to excel in online training. 

How did Majik Kids Come into the eLearning platform?

Majik Kids is a branch of Majik Media that is a kids’ publishing and production company. Its primary purpose is to drive kids to the imagination through engaging audio stories. They didn’t treat their audience as customers. Besides, they focus on solving their desire in a unique style.

That’s why they provide stories on their site for free. But, to get games and activities with the stories, you must pay for a subscription that costs only $11. 

Finally, they have published illustrated books. Then, sign a partnership with Majik Media where they get a full-fledged team to do everything more professionally.

Ways to Increase Engagement of Your Customers

Your customers should be any purpose-driven person who has come to your platform to satisfy their needs. This also applies to your partners as they also reach out to you to fulfill their purposes.

Now, come to the main point and that is how to boost their engagement to make an effective training class. Nothing works better than adding an entertaining factor and proper communication to your training program. 

The main example is social media. People spend hours on it, but still, they don’t feel enough. It’s only because people can easily communicate and change their feeds. So, you need to focus on that to boost engagement and create an effective training program.

What Makes a Training Program Successful?

If you want to build an effective training plan or program, then you must look into what makes your training program successful. A proper goal or target, the right partner, and a correct method are the factors behind a successful training program.

Besides, your training program must satisfy the desire of your clients. Therefore, in the end, they got something that lighten up their knowledge and educate them.
So, this is how you can launch an effective training program. Take lessons from the development of and create your training program.

Here’s Where To Go Next…

Get the Course Creator Starter Kit to help you (or your client) create, launch, and scale a high-value online learning website.

Also visit the creators of the LMScast podcast over at LifterLMS, the world’s leading most customizable learning management system software for WordPress. Create courses, coaching programs, online schools, and more with LifterLMS.

Browse more recent episodes of the LMScast podcast here or explore the entire back catalog since 2014.

And be sure to subscribe to get new podcast episodes delivered to your inbox every week.

Episode Transcript

Chris Badgett: You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking to create, launch and scale, a high-value online training program, I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of lifter LMS, the most powerful learning management system for WordPress. Stay to the end, I’ve got something special for you. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMSCast. And it’s a co-recording with

Bradley Morris: Bradley Morris from Majik Media on the Making Majik podcast.

Chris Badgett: So Bradley is like a brother from another mother in the eLearning industry, I’ve always resonated with the work he’s done over at Majik Media. And we’re just doing a catch-up that we’re sharing with you. There are these two people that you’re listening to or watching on video, or some of the most passionate curious, dare I say obsessed with? course creation, online learning, changing the world, making the world a better place, and having a lot of fun in the process. So I’m happy to get into it with you today. Bradley, welcome back to the show. And it’s great to be on your show.

Bradley Morris: Welcome to my show. You know, we were just talking about catching up because it’s been a couple of years. And in the E-Learning industry, so much has happened in the world. So much is happening, the whole planet has really changed. And so we thought instead of us just having a private conversation behind closed doors we would just have a spontaneous cast and talk about what’s been going on with Lifter. What’s been going on Majik Media, the industry, and hopefully in the process, all of us will glean a whole bunch of wisdom from the conversation.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, awesome man! Well, why don’t we want to start this launch? We’re gonna go first?

Bradley Morris: Well, let’s start with what’s present and exciting for you right now. And then we can kind of work back from there, I think.

Chris Badgett: Yeah, I’m kind of like a broken record in the sense that I just love online learning. And, you know, my company’s mission is my life’s mission, which is to lift up others through education. And I feel like it just keeps getting more exciting how technology is available, cheaper and easier to use, you know, people are getting more proficient with, you know, video cameras, and the iPhone or whatever. It’s all just getting easier, better, faster, and cheaper. And the ability to connect with anybody all over the world is just getting easier. So what I’m most excited about these days is really just continuing on that mission of, you know, we’re human beings, we’d like to use tools as human beings learning is what makes us human. And for the education entrepreneurs, the change agents, the leaders out there that have some to teach, you know, maybe they want to build a viable business and kind of get that life freedom, but also be completely themselves and make an impact in the lives of others. I never get tired of that. So, I mean, at a high level, that’s what it is, for me. I’m really excited about the direction of WordPress, and you know, new users coming online tools are getting better. We’ve got massive, like, user experience design upgrades coming that is just going to, in my opinion, shock the market, we just launched a lifter LMS 6.0, which is was a huge modernization of some of the underlying gamification technology. So that’s, that’s what I’m pumped about. Also, as a podcaster, I just love continuing to run into awesome people and reconnect with old friends like yourself, what’s up with you? What lights you up, Bradley?

Bradley Morris: Well, I got lots of questions about the Lifter side. But I guess we’ll get into that. So I’m just kind of like on the present, focus right now. Majik Media, we just launched a brand new branch of our company called Majik kids in December. And so we have essentially launched a kid’s publishing and production company. So we’re doing illustrated books, we’re doing really high-quality audio stories. So the audio stories, essentially, what we’re trying to do is all the fun of storytime without the screen time so we produce the audio to be more like movies for the ears. So we hire voice actors, we have a narrator we have musicians scoring the music and the sound effects so that we really tap kids back into their imagination instead of having them being consumers by consuming a video. They can be more in their imagination by listening to audio while doing other things in the world.

Chris Badgett: And what’s that called? What’s that called? Because I know my kids are really into that stuff. There’s something called Sparkle Stories I don’t know if you’ve heard of it? My kids just went insane over this guy who has a membership site, and he has these audio stories in the app and everything is awesome. But what’s, what’s yours called?

Bradley Morris: And so basically, the business model for that is, the stories are free on our website and all over the internet. And then people can buy a subscription for $11 a month to the Majik Kids Club. And inside of that we give away games, activities, coloring books, every basically every story we launch comes with its own bundle of games and activities for families, and homeschoolers, and all that sort of stuff. And then we sell illustrated books. So first time since 2005, that I’m selling real products. So it’s been this massive learning curve, our team has grown from three of us trying to figure out what to do to over 30, artists, designers, illustrators, authors, publishing managers, several producers like it’s been a lot of fun. So very new thing and then met with Majik Media. We shifted our business model, right around the time, we talked last two and a half, probably about two and a half years ago. And we shifted from doing client work to doing partnership projects. So instead of just selling our services, we find the right people that we want to work with, and we partner together. Essentially, our team becomes their team, and we do a three year business makeover, we help them redesign their business model, consolidate their life’s work, relaunch under a new, a new entity, essentially, that is the consolidation of everything that they’ve ever done under a more streamlined umbrella. And to me, like we’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing teachers and creators. And it’s really helped us to leverage our services and what we’re doing in the world. But it’s also been just a simplified way for our business model of how we make money of how we serve our clients and customers. And then presently, we’re in the just beginning of five weeks of events that we’re going to be offering a Majik Media under a new branch called the creators clubs. So clubs specifically designed for creators that want to take their work to the highest level of professionalism they can and the media they create, and the way they’re cultivating community and the services, they’re providing the branding, all the things, helping them to just like uplevel it, because ultimately, if you want to be paid like a professional, your work needs to be professional. And so that’s what we’re bringing to the game there. So those are the main things those are like. It’s been crazy.

Chris Badgett: I also have a lot of questions within all that. Would you say? Like at a high level? The? Like, is it kind of like the Creator, like who’s your perfect customer or partner that you work with? Is it? What are they like?

Bradley Morris: I would say like purpose driven creators, it’s independent educators, it’s leaders, it’s influencers, but people that are using their life’s work, their wisdom, or their influence for the betterment of all. So it’s not just trying to make money, like a lot of the media that we’re producing or supporting the facilitation of is, it’s transformational media. So it’s transformational audio, it’s transformational courses, like a lot of it is definitely focused on like, how do we help humans evolve to grow to transform? So yeah, it’s a lot of coaches. I mean, the spectrum is so wide as I’m sure it is, with LifterLMS I mean, how do you even say, well, these are the exact types of educators that we support inside the membership. For you, though, like, do you have, you know, these are the three or five pillars of creators that we usually support? Or is it just so diverse, that you can’t even really nail it down.

Chris Badgett: I did map it out once and there’s like 13 different ones. The kind of sub the parent categories there, it’s more about like the use case of online learning. So kind of like the expert market, course creators, coaches, that type of thing. Then there’s businesses use internal training inside their company or to educate the public. And then there’s schools, either traditional or very non traditional. There’s kind of those buckets and within those there’s a lot of different variations and the end like with WordPress, the openness of it and the you know, the just the ecosystem of tooling. People build all kinds of stuff like I’ve seen somebody I’ve seen people build like a pay per view experience. Not even really what lifter it wasn’t really meant to be like a sports Pay Per View platform, but I’ve seen people do that. So it’s just it’s neat that creativity and people. And I, you know, one of the things unleashing that creativity with you is really cool because there’s such a friction point sometimes between, you know, the creator, the artists, the expert and like the technologist and the marketer and the website builder and the technology manager, it sounds like you’ve found a way to kind of marry those two worlds together in a way that’s less frictionful, I guess.

Bradley Morris: I mean, I think for online learning to work, it has to be enjoyable for people has to be fun, they need to be able to show up and be like, this is a good time. Mostly, it’s not a good time, like people, the reason people are distracted with social media is because you can scroll the wall, you get a little dopamine hit every like six seconds, because there’s going to be something there that feeds you in the way that you want, because that’s the way the algorithms are programmed. So for online learning, we have to take into account that you know, people communicate on social media. So there needs to be a social component to it. People like being entertained. So what is the entertainment factor? Is a really good slides is a B roll in your videos is having engaging music, is it making the course audio only so people can be more engaged in their life or listening to the lessons? And then what is the accountability factor? How are you connecting people and keeping them accountable? Because it’s not like a university room where everybody’s just chillin in a classroom and the professor be like, Yo, Chris, get to work, man, what do you do on your phone, it’s totally different. So we have to understand that as we’re engineering, the student learning experience, to be able to take all those factors into account. And you know, from our experience, it’s, you really have to break it down to be so simple, I think gone are the days where a video lesson can be 45 minutes of just a rambling talking head that we really need to condense it so people can get what they need, have some form of real-world action to apply and then move on to the next lesson. Otherwise, they get swept away into life’s unfolding drama on planet Earth.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome.

Bradley Morris: So as a technology company, you know, the last two years have probably been crazy is like everybody’s trying to orient themselves to online learning and, how do they do it? What changes have you noticed in LifterLMS. Like with the new features, you guys have had to roll out as a result of responding to that, as well as just like trends that you’re noticing how creators are creating courses?

Chris Badgett: Well, there’s definitely been an influx in the past couple of years of people either kind of forced to change their model, there was a lot of like speaker types, or people that ran events as a business that came to learning management systems specifically to us to like, Okay, we got to react quick, where we have to do it this way. Now. Then, also, I’ve seen a surge in people just wanting or needing to work from home, and they’re trying to figure out online business, and they’re going down the whole rabbit hole of okay, how do I monetize? What do I know? What am I going to teach all that stuff? I’ve also seen a lot more you know, beginners to tech, coming into WordPress, and also not on sometimes not WordPress, also on the other SaaS solutions, but I think COVID In the pandemic and everything. It just brought a lot of people and of various skill levels, but a lot of people trying to figure it out themselves as well. Yeah. Other trends, I’m saying, like putting the learner at the center and surrounding them with what they want, like, not just courses, but coaching an online community geez, has been huge. Yeah. I mean, I’ve been in some coaching programs that had community components. And it’s been awesome, especially in the past couple of years. So that just like figuring out how to be a full stack education entrepreneur, not that you have to do everything like courses, community coaching, files, products in the mail, recipes, template. I mean, there’s all these things that like you said, if it matters, like what’s the minimum amount, it’s gonna really help this person. Seeing people assemble like these learning stacks have been just a lot of fun, like, like you said, kind of moving beyond just a long talking video like old school way but just on a screen. People are getting a lot more creative these days.

Bradley Morris: Right. And as you said earlier, the tools allow for that creativity. What once took, you know, extremely expensive equipment you can now do with a phone. I mean, even when people are able to the editing software for just editing an Instagram video, like, way ahead of where regular video editing software was 10 years ago. So it’s just, it really is amazing. And I think for everybody out there that says, I’m not an artist, which I’ve heard a lot from all the educators and coaches is like, well, I’m just, I’m not an artist, I’m not a creative type. And it’s like, maybe you’re not, but how many artists are there in your local community that would love the opportunity to work on a meaningful project and to collaborate in a meaningful way? I mean, I look at what we’ve done with Majik Kids, we’ve grown to 30-ish creators, mostly local to my little 10,000 person island. You know, so in somebody in a city, it’s like, there’s so many artists that would work for commission to be invested in a project that is future income for them, or that would work for, you know, a decent wage and working with the artists, I mean, that’s been one of my skill sets is I’m kind of the spark, I have the ideas, I write the drafts, and I write the scripts and all that sort of stuff. But surrounding myself with artists has allowed us to just like make out-of-this-world creations in both the course industry. And now with the audio stories that we’re doing with the guided meditations when I built my meditation library years ago, like, it’s honestly working with creative people, bringing creative people into the team, have allowed me who I would consider myself more to be like, the educator, the coach, the visionary, but not necessarily the artist, as my, you know, my go-to I’m not the designer, I’m not the videographer. I’m not the editor. But I’ve surrounded myself with those people. And that’s what’s really like, taken us to this level of professionalism that we’ve managed to achieve over the years.

Chris Badgett: What did you, I get this question a lot. And you’re super experienced at this, when people are trying to work out collaborations. Like, okay, I’m going to do the tech, and this is going to be my talent, and might bring this person in to help with some other aspects of the project. What advice do you have for people who are trying to structure deals like that, like partnerships? Like what have you found to be the secret to those high-functioning relationships?

Bradley Morris: So I’m actually I’m going through it with multiple teams right now. So this is a, this is a very fresh topic for me. So there’s one group, they’re they’re starting their own online school at the moment. And it’s a team of three, they all have complementary, but overlapping skill sets. And so we went through a two hour process of mapping out, the first question we asked is, okay, what are all your superpowers and so I got two of them to tell the other one what the superpower was. So as they see the other person’s superpowers, and then the one person was shared with their own superpowers are and I would just like, list their top five that I saw that were influencing their role in the business. And so I did that with each of them. I was like, Okay, it’s very clear. It’s like, so And so John, you’re the spark in this, you know, first drafts should all be on you. You’re kind of the visionary, you’re also a delegator, it’s important that role belongs to you, so that you can carry that torch. And then over here, we’ve got Dan and Dan was, he’s more of the designer, and he’s more of like, helping to soften the language John was using to make it more relatable to people. So he’s like, the second draft guy and the design guy, and a little bit of tech, and also the community manager. And then it was like, okay Ean for you. Like you are the face of the brand’s you need to be the guy that’s in all the videos, and you’re doing the communicating and the podcasts. And you’re also more of like the newsletter and like the public-facing communications guy. So anything to do with the final draft of the website, anything to do with the final Draft, but the newsletter all goes through you. And so in two hours, we divided up their roles, and they’re just like, oh, man, this is amazing. So once the roles and responsibilities are divided up, it’s clear to see who’s carrying majority of the weight. And we’re doing this for the creators clubs. So the new membership that we’re launching, I brought in three other coaches. So there’s myself, there’s three coaches, we all have complementary skill sets that we’re bringing to the table. We’re all doing one on one coaching, we’re all doing group coaching. We all have a piece of like the monthly curriculum that we’re bringing into the community. And so for that one, it was just clear, like, we’re all doing our own thing that contributes to the whole so we just divided the pie up by five so four of us plus Majik Media, everybody gets 20% it was the pie brings in and that’s that’s where we landed with that one. I would say for any collaboration having a contract a clear agreement of like roles, responsibilities, having an exit strategy. I mean, I’ve had multiple business partnerships over the years that have ended. And we didn’t have an exit strategy. And so after the relationships ended or the partnerships ended, we had to figure out the exit strategy. Fortunately, we were good friends, even through the divorce. And so we were able to navigate the exit in a really harmonious way. But if it ends on bad terms, that exit can be really gross. And so I would say like, once you figure out the roles, figure out who gets how much of the pie, right, a simple contract so that you’ve got something to fall back on, if people aren’t pulling their way be like, Well, you said this in the contract, that’s your signature there, we need you to step it up, or we have to figure something else out. So those would be like my first pieces of advice. And I would say, you know, for people that are trying to find that dream team of artists, you just wanted to be people, you’ve got creative synergy with people that understand your vision, that love your vision that want to contribute to it, and that they can take what you’re doing, and make it so much more awesome. I mean, with Majik Kids, it’s a big team of artists. And the only way it’s going to work well is if I’m not micromanaging everything I have to get out of the way and be like, this is kind of the vision. And I want the artists to do what artists do. And that’s making art. And that was always the magic when the great blur Dini, when Blair and I were producing all of our courses in the past was like, I would come with the scripts and the idea of the world. And then Blair would make the world, he would make it all come together. And it was just, like mmmuaahh, beautiful. And so letting the Artists do what artists do with as, as little micromanaging as possible, so that they don’t feel suppressed in their artistry, and they can allow for that expression to come through.

Chris Badgett: Good, solid, solid, solid advice there. Another nuance I just want to ask, because I know the creators and the experts out there, probably 95 out of 100 of them have thought about wanting to publish a book. Or I’m guilty of this too. I’ve got a book in me. I’ve had a book me for a while, but I’ve never been able to get through it. What it was some advice, no, you’re doing children’s books and stuff. But like self publishing, you get a publisher, like, how did you break through the book barrier?

Bradley Morris: Oh man! It’s been crazy, because it started with. With one story, I was like, oh, I wrote this story one night. I’m like, oh, I want to get this published. And then I’m like, oh, I need an agent. Oh, it’s gonna take like three years to get to a shelf somewhere. I’m like, no, let’s just research and let’s do it. And then all of a sudden, I was like, oh, I wrote another story, oh, I wrote another story. I kept writing stories last year. And I’ve written like, 10 stories in the last year that are all coming to market right now. And so then I was like, Well, I want to publish my friends, too. So how do we start a publishing house? Like, I’ve hired a publishing manager, I raised a bunch of investment capital, and then all of a sudden, it’s like, Oh, we got to thing here. So with the publishing side of things, we were gonna go to a middleman that provides the service of like, hey, we’ll format your book, we’ll edit it for you, we’ll help you build the cover, we’ll do all the things. We were gonna go that route. And then I hired my publishing manager. And she used to do that for five years, she worked for a company that did that she worked for freezing press or whatever. And, and she’s like, Well, I think, you know, if we go that route, we’re always at the mercy of their schedule. And most of those book managers have 100 different books that they’re working on. At any given time, we’re not a priority. She’s like, I would suggest we hire our own design team. We hire our own, like our own editors. And we just do this ourselves, so that there’s no middleman and we just go direct to source. And so we ended up doing that. We’ve built an amazing team. And we so we’re doing all of the publishing through a company called Ingram Spark. So if you order on Amazon, that’s because it’s we uploaded our books to Ingram Spark. However, we wanted to have a custom shopping experience in our Majik Kids website, where it’s like, you can listen to the stories while you’re shopping. And then we also, after our first three months of book sales, we weren’t super stoked on this company that we were that we set our shopping cart up with. So we built our own custom shopping cart, using Shopify mixed with a bunch of custom coding. And we found a partner out of Calgary, Alberta that’s doing all of our printing and distribution and our revenue can now like our profit margins have increased exponentially, like probably double from what we were going to be paying Ingram Spark and Amazon All that sort of stuff. So we’ve taken the best of both worlds people order on our store, or if we’re sending inventory to bookstores or wherever we’re sending inventory, that all goes through this company Blitz Prints at a Calgary, but for anybody that just like finds us on Amazon or they go to their local bookstore and because they heard about us they order through the bookstore. All of that is because we set up our stuff on Ingram Spark because Ingram Spark basically sends it out to the world. So I would suggest anybody getting to the self-publishing world is like, hire your own design designer, hire your own people. Because you know, those companies that are going to charge you 10 or $15,000, to publish each book you want to do. You could spend less than half of that by hiring your own people, they’re not going to help you with your marketing, you know, you have to be your own marketing agency unless you hire a marketing agency. So you really, you know, it’s not going to save you that much. So that was our lessons. It’s been, it’s been crazy. We just like our infrastructure settled now. We’ve built all of our systems will have this year, I think we’ll have at least 20 books and audio stories published, which is really exciting. On top of the last year, we launched our first seven books and stories. 

Chris Badgett: It’s huge.

Bradley Morris: It’s been a ride.

Chris Badgett: Any just quick words of wisdom, like you said, you wrote the stories, but you found an artist to illustrate and stuff. Like, if that’s always a friction point for people is, you know, they may be an expert, but they really lacked design skills. And you can really, I mean, they made your stories come to the words are awesome, but I’m sure the illustrations like are illustrations.

Bradley Morris: Yeah, the audio stories are epic, you know, It all brings it to life. So for us, the business model with Majik Kids is I really wanted to create a vehicle for artists to be able to make art for kids. And so I don’t I coined the term Fairtrade publishing, so we pay 50% of book revenue into our artists. And so when an illustrator and author joins our team, and they publish a book with us, we’re paying about three times more than traditional publishing for book sales. Because the traditional is like six to 12% that you get with us we’re paying 25% in Illustrator 25% to the authors.

Chris Badgett: Just love it, man. This is I love to borrow an idea man borrow fairtrade coffee and apply it to the publishing industry do awesome.

Bradley Morris: And the other piece with the publishing industry is, you know, most publishing companies don’t market the books for you is kind of like well, you know, can you market the book, you need to market the book. Because we will get you you know, into the bookstores but if the books don’t sell, you don’t make any money. So you got to you know, do your own tours and stuff like that. And that’s kind of how it is these days, unless you’re like way at the top. And so for us with Majik Kids we are I’ve got a whole marketing team that every story we’re doing we’re marketing this year is all about that’s our mountain is like how do we get to a million listeners listening to our audio stories, and we’ve got 10 different pathways of marketing strategy that we’re rolling out to see what is what’s the best pathway for marketing our stories and building our audience. Chris Badgett: Killer.

Bradley Morris: It’s a different game man, like I’ve never as as I’m sure you remember, like with Majik Media, we were kind of like, I dropped social media five years ago, like I haven’t really marketed ourselves hard because our business model was boutique. We’re business partners with you know, eight different partners and that is all revenue share and results based and then our membership I’ve never really hustled hard, but now with Majik Kids, it’s like, it’s the model that I’ve created for it. And then it has to be is like it’s based on large numbers. So it’s first time in years that I’m like, Oh, we got to market this like, like a real company. So it’s different.

Chris Badgett: I gotta ask I saw you were making some content with is it Tad Hargraves?

Bradley Morris: Yeah, yeah, we built Tad a membership site and then and help them do his launch and all that sort of stuff.

Chris Badgett: So for those of you that are watching or listening, I always I came across him a long time ago I’ve never met him I don’t know him but the tagline or whatever is marketing for hippies. Yeah. And I was like, I love that because it’s just a different spin on marketing. So if you could boil him down to an essence you know, he’s it’s all about ethical marketing and stuff like what makes his magic happen?

Bradley Morris: Well, one, you know, he really, his audience is like open-hearted entrepreneurs that feel sleazy or gross, or they have a hard time promoting themselves. And so his approach is talking more about like, he talks about like Island, A and island B. And then like the journey from taking your people from Island A to Island B, the vehicle that gets them there, and describing the vehicle and describing what is at Island B to inspire people to come on this journey with you. And his approach is just, it’s simple, and it’s lovely. And it works. He helps people get results without feeling like a D bag. And it’s just, he’s, he’s been doing it for 15 years, you know, he’s worked with 1000s of entrepreneurs, his whole business model before the pandemic was he just toured. And he taught workshops to groups and saw him pivoting to having a membership, where it’s all of his courses, all of his ebooks, he does multiple coaching sessions every week, it’s, it’s really worked well for him.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome, man. That’s awesome. I think I did run into that guy, like, a long time ago, it was like, I saw him on the internet, like 14 years ago or something. And I saw you guys connect. And I was like, Oh, that’s cool.

Bradley Morris: Yeah, him and I’ve been friends for quite a few years, he used to host me when I would go to Edmonton to do workshop tours. Nice. So, with lifter, what are some of the newest features that you guys are really stoked about with the 6.0 version?

Chris Badgett: A lot of it has to do with just gamification. WordPress has changed a bunch with the block editor. It’s like a, it’s more of a modular building block system, as opposed to like an email editor to create websites. So it’s gotten a lot more powerful. And people wanted a lot more control over certificates as one thing to be able to, you know, use those and print those and, and really gamify. And same with the whole achievement badge system. So that’s what the recent 6.0 was all about just modernizing that tech. for that. And so that’s, that’s pretty much what’s, what’s going on there. And we’ve got some stuff with payments coming up wrangling the beast of PayPal, which is not an easy beast, but so that’s happening. And then all the user experience design stuff is super exciting. That’s, that’s what’s coming. And you know, I think there’s so many great sasses out there, I know you’re, you do some work with mighty networks, and I’m sure other tools. A lot of those hosted platforms for communities like circle dot Essos. And other one I see people using and loving podia Kajabi. All these are out there. So we basically challenged our design house to like, Let’s go big, like let’s these, a lot of these hosted platforms are gorgeous. They’re beautiful. Yeah, how do we do that in WordPress without light and still give people the customizability that they expect? So we’re, we’re nearing the end of that design process. And my mind is blown. I’m like, Oh, my gosh, this is gonna be good. It’s gonna take a little bit to build. But it’s, uh, I’m really excited about that.

Bradley Morris: I can’t wait to see it. I mean, you guys have already had, you’ve been one of the top platforms that we promoted for years now. It’s always been a beautiful product you guys have already always really cared about the student learning experience and how do you know, keep people moving along the journey. And so adding the design features is, uh, that’s gonna be amazing.

Chris Badgett: I’m stoked. Let’s um, let’s go into the community piece of bit. What do you I guess what do you see working like if somebody’s got a course or coaching program? What do you see working for people building communities? Because I think and the reason I ask is a lot of people tend to underestimate. I call it conversation design, but also community design. Like it’s you get really into the content, I gotta make these lessons and I gotta make these videos and maybe some worksheets, but you can actually design conversation and community experiences. You have to think it through you don’t just like, pop up a Facebook group and I’m like, I’m good. Like there’s gotta be some thought and maybe you do in-person events or virtual events or whatever. I’m just curious what you’re seeing. I’m infinitely fascinated by community building. It’s small and large scales. So what are you seeing?

Bradley Morris: Yeah, I mean, I’m the same. It’s different for every community, we’ve launched in the last few years, I think we’ve done about a dozen communities and mighty networks. And everyone is a different strategy, I was just talking to somebody earlier today, it’s like, onboarding has to be like, you have to really execute well, on your onboarding experience, from the point somebody goes from, I just paid to getting them to engage in the community to take their first lessons to help them get results to get them like, essentially hooked on this important community, you know,

Chris Badgett: You got to design that flow. You got design that flow, it’s not gonna it’s you got to help them. I mean, you got to have a plan.

Bradley Morris: Yeah. And then I think the other piece, I mean, back when I started, in 2012, the building my first meditations, programs, it was all about, like, passive income, I’m going to build it once, it’s going to be used 1000s of times, and I will get paid every time it’s used. And for anybody that’s building like, an education business, I think those days, for the most part, are gone. And unless it’s about licensing, which I’ll get to in a moment, but if you’re building your own, like, ecosystem, that’s courses and community and all that sort of stuff. Like, I think the accountability and the connection piece is really important, people need to feel like they belong to something, they belong to a club, they belong to a culture of shared values, and shared beliefs, or shared vision for where everybody is going together. And I think the other piece is like, it’s facilitated in a way that people are being pulled along on a journey, like the hand holding of like, we’re going up that mountain, I’m going to hold your hand until we get to the top. And so there needs to be a level of accountability and checking in. So that’s why we’ve shifted our business model with the, you know, our old membership, which was $99 a month, you got our course library, and all that sort of stuff. And then we did two Majik Mines a month. And now, with the creators club, instead of a monthly model, it’s $5,000 a year. But what you get is you get one-on-one coaching. We do like regular Majik Minds. We have work party sessions, where you’re doing two hours of deep focused creative work and community. We do skill-building challenges every single month, you have your own community accountability person that’s going to be checking in with you to make sure that what are your goals for the next two weeks. Did you do the goals? What do you need to achieve those goals? So that we can surround each individual with more support and more accountability? And all of those things? I mean, it really is about thinking in terms of how do we facilitate and this has been things, something we’ve been harping on for years is like how do we create the ultimate learning experience for this group of students for this topic and this experience, and it’s different across all the boards, but it needs to be thought out. And I’m more of like the school of thought these days is, the more focused attention with less students is better. And I think it goes the same in the public school system is like a classroom of 10 kids with one or two adults doing the teaching. And the facilitating is probably way more potent than a classroom of 35 kids with one teacher. Because the more focused attention we can give people, the better the results are going to get. And if we have to increase prices to increase focus on the students’ results, I think it’s a worthwhile trade.

Chris Badgett  

I asked somebody or respected a while ago, the question like Why does some courses cost like $10, 20 bucks, and then there’s like, you know, 20 $30,000 coaching program, and with essentially sometimes similar content. And he gave a one word answer, which was fidelity, which just means access to, you know, support, basically. So like, yeah, you can go to masterclass and learn how to tell jokes from Steve Martin, for 10 bucks. But Steve’s not going to help you with your jokes directly. Yeah, but you could go to I mean, if there was like a, you know, an unknown nightclub, comedian guy, who has a course I’m sure there’s one out there that actually does coaching, that’d be worth a lot more, potentially. So

Bradley Morris: Like, if you’re what’s better like taking a course from somebody that’s put in their 10,000 hours or getting direct mentorship from somebody who’s putting their 10,000 hours if you get 30 or 60 minutes of that mentors time, I mean that can take 100 hours of trial and error off of your time and how much is that worth? Really.

Chris Badgett: Yeah. And the community piece, you get into that, and you realize, oh, I’m not this like, crazy dude, whatever, there’s all these other crazy people just like me, this is awesome. Like,

Bradley Morris: That’s right. It’s part of the culture creation is like, what is the culture you want to be building around the community, like the shared values and the shared beliefs, the shared vision of like, we’re all we’re all going to that mountaintop together and nobody gets left behind.

Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, Bradley, it’s really awesome. To catch up, what were you gonna say?

Bradley Morris: I was just gonna say, is there anything you want to add on to that, that how you’ve seen people using the lift or community feature?

Chris Badgett: A lot of it has to do with breaking outside of the website, like, I saw somebody wants, just put on a calendar plug-in on the website, and started having these virtual events and their community. You know, they’re in the membership site. And there’s always great courses and templates and all these things. But she, she was bringing in guest webinars, and they would have these events on the calendar. And somebody canceled once. And instead, she just ran the like a, I think she called it like a co-working session or something like that, where people just hanging out working, it’s pretty informal. And her community kind of, I wouldn’t say like revolted, but they were like, less guest experts and do more of that. And I was like, and it became, and I’ve seen other people start modeling that. And it’s, it’s kind of like, I mean, you know, the phrase like holding space, it’s that thing of holding space. While it’s somewhat, it’s not like you’re like actually, creating something, it’s more of a feminine energy of holding space is like super important. And just as much as like the content, it’s like creating that container, whether that’s in the website, or in a zoom call, or wherever. That’s, that’s the thing, man.

Bradley Morris: Yeah, I totally agree. People need to feel like a safe and held container for them to go through their transformation because anybody signing up for a course they’re looking for transformation and look to become a different version of themselves. And that requires a, you know, a change in habit, a change in thought, belief, a change in you know what, you know, for your knowledge, like, it’s just that requires patience, mentorship, and requires inspiration, some hand holding some accountability, we have to keep people engaged, they keep taking the steps forward. And so, you know, the question I’ll leave people is, how can you do a better job at keeping people engaged through all the steps and how can you know, in foresight that they’re gonna have resistance, they’re gonna have distractions in their life and how do you battle those so that you can get to them and help keep them move moving forward?

Chris Badgett: I love that. On that note, I think we’ll wrap up this joint podcast episode. I’m Chris from LifterLMS you can find me at lifter I’ve got a podcast called LMScast and how about you do your outro Bradley where can people find you good man?

Bradley Morris: Bradley Morris from The Making Majik Podcast you can find us on all the spots and if you get this in March or April check out the five events we’re doing for the launch for creators club five free events. It’s gonna be really fun. Lots of good stuff coming out.

Chris Badgett: Awesome Bradley. We’ll have to do this again sometime.

Bradley Morris: This is great. Nice catch up.

Chris Badgett  

And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMS cast. Did you enjoy that episode? Tell your friends and be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the next episode. And I’ve got a gift for you over at lifter forward slash gift. Go to lifter forward slash gift. Keep learning. Keep taking action, and I’ll see you in the next episode.

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